This entertaining bird, native to eastern Australia, is named for its unique call that ends with the sound of a cracking whip. Its cry stands out among all the other sounds in the forest.
The Southern Cassowary is a tall, flightless bird native to the tropical rain forests of New Guinea and northeastern Australia. It is a treasure to see one of these birds in the wild, even though it is smart to keep your distance. Their numbers are rapidly declining due to a variety of factors–loss of habitat due to the development of the rain forests, fatalities after being stuck by automobiles, competition for food with wild boars imported from Europe, and attacks by wild dogs introduced to reduce the boar population.
The words that come to mind when I look at this bird are “confident” and “well fed.” The pelican’s stance is one that conveys comfort in, and possibly even enjoyment of, being close to a human with a camera. It lives in a preserve where it is protected and has ample food. Sure, the bird could fly away. But it didn’t!
This California brown pelican was showing off its grace and power taking flight from the rocky shore of La Jolla.